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What Muppet Fans Are Thinking About

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Muppet Master, May 20, 2014.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Recently Kirk Thatcher was interviewed for The Muppet Mindset, and when talking about how the fans didn't like that there was a lot more focus on new characters and less on the known characters, he said that the Muppets should grow in characters and that The Muppet Show was introducing new characters all the time (though I feel the last two seasons didn't really have many new recurring characters, just Pops, Rizzo, Foo-Foo, and to a certain extent Lips and Gaffer, maybe Geri and the Attrics, they tried and then dropped Winny and Betsy Bird after one appearance each).

    But then Sesame Street hasn't had many recurring characters in the past ten years. Of course that's a little different, as that's from Sesame Workshop as opposed to Henson, and I'm not sure whether Kirk Thatcher worked on Sesame Street. But then again, for the first three decades (maybe three and a half), Sesame Street was always introducing new characters, but then in the past decade new recurring characters have been less frequent. The only new main characters we've gotten were Abby, Murray, and to a certain extent Ovejita and Segri (and though he was around before, Horatio the Elephant seems to have become more of a main character in the past decade). And not only that, but many early supporting characters continued to appear frequently for three decades, before being dropped, used less frequently, or reduced to occasional cameos/background appearances (and not just characters originated by Jim Henson or Richard Hunt). Though at times some characters would go a few years without being seen in new material, only to come back on a semi-regular basis (this includes such characters as Mumford, Mr. Johnson, Grundgetta, and Hoots the Owl). Heck, there have been periods when the show didn't have much of longtime major characters like Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, and The Count (and is it just me or has Zoe been used a lot less in the last few years, even before Fran Brill retired?).

    But as I type this, I think of something else: During all those years when new characters (who were intended on being major characters) were frequently being introduced, The Jim Henson Company owned the rights to the Sesame Street Muppets. Creation of new recurring characters lessened when Sesame Workshop obtained the rights to the characters, so maybe it is the two companies having different views on introducing new characters. Of course, reducing the show to 26 episodes a year might also have something to do with it (the 40th anniversary book has a quote about how with 26 episodes a year there's no room for "flop characters"), as well as the need for every episode to have many long segments (many of which are limited to a few or even just one familiar character) each day. And I have just now realized that in the last few years that Henson owned the characters and the first few years that Sesame Workshop owned them that most of the recurring characters introduced didn't last.
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I often think about how in The Muppet Movie, It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie, and Muppets Most Wanted, Miss Piggy briefly leaves the Muppets and then returns shortly, and yet those scenes aren't too consequential to the plot.

    In The Muppet Movie, it's the least neccessary. Miss Piggy gets a call from her agent about a job in a commercial and just leaves Kermit, only to return to Kermit a few scenes later. Kermit's a little bummed during this time, but not too bummed. When they see Miss Piggy hitchiking, the Muppets are quick to have her back, even if Kermit seems a slight bit unhappy with her when she gets back in the car. But then they don't really do more with this. The only justification I can think of for this is because they needed some sort of dramatic scene right before the film broke.

    In It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Miss Piggy leaves the Muppets, they then feel the need to have a big celebrity guest star (which is how The Muppet Show always worked), when they couldn't get anybody to be the guest star Kermit realized that Miss Piggy was a big enough star (but she's typically always part of the Muppets, even with Frank Oz's busy schedule before Eric Jacobson took over her) and they convince her back after she had accepted a job on Scrubs where she's just an extra. So for this part, I guess NBC wanted the movie to promote Scrubs (or Henson wanted to please NBC by working in an appearance by the cast and set of one of their shows), plus they decide to get Miss Piggy back after a celebrity montage, but it still doesn't add up that Miss Piggy would be considered a big enough star to bring in big ticket sales, and yet when she leaves, she's simply an extra on a popular TV show (of course, I think it's odd that in the world without Kermit, reality shows make up most of television, since reality shows were just starting to dominate TV and at the time Kermit didn't have a regular gig on television, the previous year bringing us the first season of Sesame Street to not include any Kermit content).

    And then in The Muppets, where it seems most neccessary but still inconsequential. They go to Paris to get Miss Piggy back, she decides she needs to have a talk with Kermit first (in a rather pointless nighttime walk around the city... Maybe not pointless, but one of the few scenes in the movie I don't really like), and shortly after getting the theater cleaned up she comes back and has a showdown with Miss Poogy, getting herself back in the Muppets. In a way, it is justified in that it's an attempt to include Miss Poogy and set up the Moopets as bad guys to the Muppets later on, but I don't really care much for the Moopets, and even if Miss Piggy did return right away, they could have still had the Moopets included. Fozzie would have had to have been doing something before rejoining Kermit, and the Moopets could have just tried to work with Tex Richman to bring down the Muppets because of Fozzie quitting (in fact, wouldn't Miss Poogy have left the Moopets to replace Miss Piggy as one of the Muppets? I wonder how the Moopets handled it when she left and later came back).
    LipsGF4Life likes this.
  3. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, I went to Walmart, and I saw these muppet plushes of Fozzie, Gonzo, Kermit, and Animal. The weird thing was that they spelled fozzie like fozzy. That is either the largest typo ever or Disney really does not care. anymore.
  4. WalterLinz

    WalterLinz Well-Known Member

    What company did their tags say? I mean, what toy company?:p Did they look like cheap carnival prizes?XD
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  5. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    Get a load of this...
  6. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Wow just wow! I really am hoping that this is just a small error, but something telling me deep down that it is not.
    sesamemuppetfan likes this.
  7. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Seriously, this is just sad, next thing you know animal is spelled with an m at the front of the name.
    sesamemuppetfan and LipsGF4Life like this.
  8. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    I myself am pretty shocked with how they spelled Fozzie's name correctly except for that ONE spot!!
    LipsGF4Life likes this.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Been thinking about the 2000 Muppets Game Boy Color game. At the beginning, there's a voice credits screen listing Steve Whitmire, Frank Oz, and Richard Hunt with voices. With Richard Hunt, they obviously re-used audio of him voicing Beaker. But I wonder why they did that, when Beaker had been recast for years and Steve Whitmire was involved with providing new dialogue for Kermit and Rizzo in the game (well I'm pretty sure Kermit's line "Hi ho, welcome back" hadn't been used anywhere previously). In fact I wonder if Frank Oz actually provided voices for the game or if it was re-used dialogue (there's a "hey wocka wocka wocka" from Fozzie and an "uh-oh" from Animal, I think both could have easily come from archival recordings).

    Also interesting how voice credits were included at the beginning as opposed to completing the game. Do you suppose they knew people wouldn't complete the game and see the end credits (okay, maybe there is somebody who has, but I've never seen anyone admit to beating the game)?
  10. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    This just occurred to me:

    In all 60 years of the Muppets, why has there never been a sight gag where Kermit sticks to a window?

    Isn't that what frogs can do?
  11. WalterLinz

    WalterLinz Well-Known Member

    Welll Kermit has been licked on and has been thrown/stuck on to a Russian gulag wall...:p
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I don't get it.
  13. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    I watched TMS episode 213 yesterday, and the UK spot was Something's Missing. I have seen this episode before, but this time I found it odd how at the beginning the man sings about a tricycle, and at the end he has a love intrest. It feels really weird. Another weird thing is this is one of the few songs on the TMS box set for season 2 that have closed captioning, so is it a song that was written for the episode. Though it was a good song anyways.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Recently I read that The Disney Channel actually showed the UK spots for Muppets Tonight in America. I watched Muppets Tonight on The Disney Channel and don't ever remember seeing any of those segments on there. Could this change have occurred late in the shows run on The Disney Channel (though I'm sure I still watched regularly as they were still showing the reruns)? Could the UK spots have just aired when the show first entered the channel (my household didn't get the Disney Channel until about a month after the show was added to the channel)? Could the contributor have mistook an international copy for an American broadcast?

    Of course there's not much reason to not include the UK spots on the channel, since even though The Disney Channel started to be a regular cable channel and had commercial breaks (in fact my cable provider had a free Disney Channel weekend shortly after MT entered the channel and the channel was already having commercial breaks then) the channel never had ads for products, just for other Disney Channel programming (and occasionally PSAs).
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    In The Secrets of the Muppets, there's a girl Muppet seen in the background during the end credits. Anybody know who she is?

    It's during the 47:42 mark:

    In case it gets taken down before anyone can check but there are people who have the special on video, she can be seen next to a rat way in the back, during a close-up shot of Kevin Clash. Has she appeared elsewhere on The Jim Henson Hour (I certainly don't remember seeing her outside of that scene)?
  16. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking, if an Electric Mayhem song where Dr. Teeth was not the lead singer was released on an album, how would the performers of the song be listed? If any Electric Mayhem song led by Floyd was released (I know, Mr. Bassman and New York State of Mind were, but he's the only member who got vocals on those songs), or if Rockin' Robin was released, it would be weird to list the performers of the songs as "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem", and it would sound a little odd if it listed the singers as "Floyd and the Electric Mayhem" or "Janice and the Electric Mayhem" (maybe if they said "with" instead of "and", though it'd still be odd considering they are part of The Electric Mayhem). Would it just say "Electric Mayhem"? In the case of Rockin' Robin, it could just list Janice as the singer, or maybe "Janice with Dr. Teeth, Animal, and the birds".

    Maybe that's why those songs were never released on any albums (though no tracks from the last season have been released on any albums).
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about how in Muppets Most Wanted, Miss Poogy and Pops' roles seem more like them recycling characters than bringing them back for new appearances, except they both have their regular performers and voices, and both are identified by name in the end credits. Miss Poogy never mentions being part of The Moopets or the events of the previous film, and doesn't notice Kermit looking like Kermit (okay, so very few characters in the film notice the similarities between Kermit and Constantine). And it seems weird for Pops to be a prisoner, since he's usually part of the Muppets and had been used in a few productions in recent years. Maybe if it was a more obscure character from Muppets Tonight or Muppet Treasure Island (or a Jim Henson Hour character) it wouldn't seem so odd.

    I know that the movies often have the characters being introduced to characters they already know, but in this case it still feels different. It doesn't feel like Pops running the Happiness Hotel or The Swedish Chef serving pop corn at a movie theater. It doesn't feel like Bobo working for a villain or designated villain.
    LaRanaRene likes this.
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    All this time, I thought that the full title for the Play-Along Video series was "Jim Henson's Play-Along Video", but today I was looking at some of the covers, and noticed that Jim Henson's name was not written as plural... It's actually "Jim Henson Play-Along Video". I never noticed before. I guess it's similar to how today's Disney productions (at least on promotional materials) have "Disney" written above the title as opposed to "Disney's".

    Though I also found an image screen for Peek-A-Boo on Hulu, and that lists it as "Jim Henson's Play-Along Video: Peek-A-Boo". And I didn't think that the Play-Along title would be used in the title listings for Peek-A-Boo at the places where one can stream or download the video.

    I've always assumed that all of the videos were released on the same date, and I recently found a print ad that seems to confirm it (though it doesn't say what date the videos were to be released, just "fourth quarter" 1988). It mentioned there being a TV and print ad campaign.... If there actually were TV commercials for the series, I'd like to see them. But it's also interesting that they didn't continue making new Play-Along Videos after 1988. A Muppet Babies Video Storybook and Muppet Sing-Alongs both got multiple videos over the course of a few different years.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    When Jerry Nelson was interviewed for Muppet Central back in 1998, he mentioned that he performed Statler in Sex and Violence and something else before The Muppet Show began. I wonder if he actually did perform Statler somewhere else, or if he was misremembering. I don't think there's any pre-TMS appearances by Statler as performed by Jerry Nelson besides the pilot, but that doesn't mean there's not something obscure where he might have performed the character. Are there any known Muppet appearances from 1975 or 1976 where none of us know any details (which could have had Statler)?

    But again, he could have been misremembering. After all, in that interview he also said that he performed in the first two episodes of TMS and then didn't perform on the show again for 5-9 episodes (I can't remember what number he said), but we know that he didn't perform in the first two episodes (outside of "Ain't Misbehaving" which was shot later in the season) and that he did perform in episodes 4-10 before taking a five-episode break.

    There have occasionally been audio interviews with the performers for Muppet fan sites where they briefly appeared as a character. I wonder how Henson/Disney/Sesame Workshop feels about those instances, when it's not exactly an interview arranged by one of those companies. I know that performers and voice actors tend to use the same voices for characters for other companies, but in these interviews it's clearly meant to be those characters. I also wonder if the performers need permission from the right company when there are video interviews for fan sites that include appearances by one of their characters (such as Constantine's cameo during Matt Vogel's acceptance speech in Tough Pigs' "Snuffy Awards" video).
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  20. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I was wondering about that to.

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